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Hello. I have a question regarding my cat. It’s not actually my cat, it’s this cat that started coming to my house 3 years ago. She comes to my window and I feed her, she stays in my house for an hour or two and then she goes away. That has been happening every day for almost a year. She is my cat now. I made an indoor cat out of her in no time. The thing is, she’s been acting strange lately. She seems sad and depressed. I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that she now lives inside the house. What do you think, can indoor cats develop depression?

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Sure they can. Both indoor and outdoor cats can develop depression, but cats that live inside the house are more likely to develop it.

It’s pretty simple. Cats that don’t go out are not using their natural instincts for hunting and stuff like that. Especially if their owners are not home a lot, they live a lonely, passive life.

If you’re working 10 hours a day and you live alone, you should definitely consider not having a cat at all. I am not referring to you Mima, I am referring to anyone who reads this.

Imagine yourself not going out ever, being alone for 10 hours a day. You would be depressed too.

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Indoor cats are more prone to depression than outdoor ones. We domesticated cats, but in their genes they are still wild beasts who enjoy in free roaming. Cats are predators and they need to hunt, that is their life force.

Cat needs to be occupied for the most of her time. If she doesn’t have enough attention or some other things she can do around the house, cat will become either aggressive or depressed.

You can resolve this by spending more time with her, getting her a playmate (another cat), or simply letting her to roam around neighborhood.

Whatever you choose, I think she is craving for a little more freedom. 

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Hello everyone. That is definitely true. Actually, I think that indoor cats can suffer from depression more than outdoor cats do. When my cat was totally indoor cat, she was pretty much depressed. She was always sitting on the window, and she was watching what is going on outside. I have realize this, so I have decide to let her out whenever she wants to be out. And, she was much happier. She is inside of my home when she wants to be, I don’t want to force her. The main reason for this decision was when I saw that she “has no life” in the house. 

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Yes, they do. All cats, indoor and outdoor can develop depression. But, I do agree with other member that indoor cats can develop depression more often than outdoor cats. Someone will tell you that every cat should be indoor cat, but I have to say that I don’t agree with it totally. I think that every cat needs a freedom, and her freedom is somewhere outside, in your garden :) A lot of indoor cats can’t play and enjoy as outdoor cats, so I suggest you to let your cat outside, and let her come back in the house when she wants this. 

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Yeah they can and they usually do. If you ask me, cats should not be held in those closed apartments, without the possibility to go out. It’s not their natural environment. Just like us, they need fresh air and if they don’t get it, it may affect their mental health.

It’s important for the cats to follow their own instincts, such as hunting. That’s why you should imitate cat’s hunting actions by attaching some toy to a rope and running with it in front of her.  She will be amused and you will cheer her up a little.

Also try spending as much time as you can with her.

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Every cat has its own natural environment. You know that cat’s natural environment is nature, grass, and garden, so, you should treat your cat at this way, not any other. Of course, cat can be in the house, but you should not close her in the home, because she will develop depression for sure. Observe what your cat wants, it is not hard at all. I was learning from my own mistake, and now I just let her do what she wants, I know when she wants to go out and play.

In this case, there is no space for depression, at all. 

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I believe it’s bad not to walk your cat regularly and keep her locked up in the apartment, but I have an indoor cat and I don’t believe that the fact that she doesn’t go out affects her mood in any way. She is very cheerful. I tried walking her once, but she really doesn’t like to go out. She is even a bit scared of the outside world I’d say.
I spend a lot of time with her at home. And I think that ignoring your cat and spending less time with her will most definitely lead to depression (rather that her staying home all the time).
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